As a teacher, parent, and native Coloradan, I am three-parts appalled on three different levels by the state of education funding in Colorado. Legislative inaction and voter hesitation to fund Colorado schools sends a clear message to children — "we’re willing to compromise your future." Coloradans, every one of you, benefitted from public schools, and the care of dedicated educators to get to where you are today, yet many are not willing to refill the coffers for the next generation, nor support the dedicated teachers that care for our community’s children. My family and I moved back to Colorado in the summer of 2017. We hoped our move would provide an opportunity to live and thrive within the community in which we worked. However, we arrived in Ridgway to find the economic landscape and housing market for a public school teacher to be just as prohibitive as the one we’d left. As an educator, I continue to make compromises that a generation of professionals before me did not have to make.
I know that much of my fight for a livable wage is with our state representatives. However, I also believe there is a concerning disconnect among voters. In November 2018, Colorado voters chose not to support Amendment 73, which was constructed to help fund education for this and future generations. Last
November, Coloradans once again chose to vote against the foundation of a community — its schools. Is this really who we are? I believe that it is time to visibly communicate the urgency of this issue collectively through activism. When teachers make the difficult decision to leave their families and students behind to join a public action such as March
19th’s “March on the Capitol”, it sends a clear message to voters and legislators that something is very wrong in our state.